People always ask if I’m like my main character, Raleigh. The answer is a resounding NO. She’s a risk-taker and a rolling stone. I’m a rule follower through and through. BUT I did give her one piece of me. I made her sick.

When I started the series, I’d been diagnosed with a chronic, painful, incurable disease. One that I had to adapt to. The first month it felt like a prison. I yearned to be normal. Eventually, I learned to see past the disease.

I gave Raleigh that feeling of being sick, of being ill, of being incurable. I poured my anger and fear into her. I let her carry it for me. That’s why she fights her disease and doesn’t let it define her.

Are we alike? No. But that fire in her belly, it was in mine first.